Why doesn’t construction learn from banking technology?
It’s so easy to use technology to check your bank balance on your phone these days. Or to do many other things through an app, to be honest; things we’re starting to take for granted. But is the construction sector following suit with its use of mobile technology? Nick Gaunt, ProCon Partners founder and managing director, argues that it isn’t.
Check your bank balance while ordering coffee
I went to the hole-in-the wall this morning to get some money out for a coffee, but as I was about to go to a meeting I didn’t have time to check my bank balance. When I got to the coffee shop, I ordered my coffee and while I was waiting, I checked out my balance on my phone.
It’s nothing remarkable these days. I could even see the money I’d withdrawn moments earlier. In fact, I’d be disappointed if I couldn’t do it. So why can’t I have the same sort of information available at my fingertips from construction projects I work on?
Online banking isn’t new
In fact, it’s been around over 20 years, almost as long as the internet’s own quarter century. Stanford Federal Credit Union was the first financial institution to offer online banking services to all of its members in October 1994.
Since then, the way banks operate and the way we use them has changed considerably. When was the last time you went into your bank’s local branch? Most of us prefer to do online banking from the comfort of our homes or even on the go through our phones. In just a few clicks, you have the information you need at your fingertips and can make payments quickly and easily.
The banking industry has maximised its infrastructure and that of its customers to make our life easier and be more efficient. With the rise of smartphones and mobile technology, banking has got in on the act. Ask anyone in your office if they have a banking app on their phone and the answer will almost certainly be yes.
As customers, we also have the infrastructure to support this – 81% of the UK population now owns a smartphone with many more accessing tablets. As well as banking apps, there are apps available for all kinds of wonderful things.
So why hasn’t the construction industry done the same?
Is it because they don’t have the same infrastructure in place to make our life easier and be more efficient? No. Most, if not all, major contractors will have a cost capture system in place, such as SAP or Oracle. They will almost certainly have project management, document management and communications systems in place too.
So why aren’t they taking a leaf out of banking’s book and maximising these systems to their full potential? Could it be that they lack the drive to innovate and be more efficient?
Help is at hand
Seeing a gap in the market, I established ProCon Partners to help construction businesses maximise both the technology that they already have in-house and the infrastructure that their staff have.
Using our unique system for data visualisation, we take real-time construction and project controls data and convert it into meaningful, live reports. These are accessible to the people who need the information via smartphone, tablet or computer.
And, because they use live data, they’re always up-to-date, so you can see at-a-glance where you are with your projects. This allows you to identify opportunities and deal with issues as they arise, avoiding last-minute changes and saving you time and money.
So, next time you use the banking app on your phone or tablet, ask yourself what’s stopping you from having the same information from your programme, portfolio or project. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Want to know more?
I would love to speak to you further about how ProCon Partners can help you improve your projects’ efficiency and performance with the use of smart dashboards. Please email me or call 0117 975 8670 to arrange a free, no obligation call to discuss how we can help you.